§ 73:1 In general
The courts and authorities in Cyprus adhere strictly to the relevant provisions of the law so as to ensure the protection of intellectual property rights against piracy and infringement. The constant flow of judicial decisions and the widespread interest in the subject following the ubiquity of the new technologies have made "intellectual property" an increasingly amorphous and fast-developing area of law, making it difficult to give clear-cut and enduring definitions. In practice, intellectual property is usually divided into two main categories, namely:
- Industrial property, i.e., patents, industrial designs, geographical indications and designations of origin, plant and seed varieties, trade marks, service marks, and trade names; and
- Copyright and related rights.
§ 73:2 Domestic law
Intellectual property in Cyprus is regulated both by statute and by the general principles of common law, such as the torts of passing off and malicious falsehood as well as the breach of confidence action which has its roots in equity. Whereas statute in the main creates proprietary rights prohibiting third parties from using and exploiting the subject protected by these rights, the relevant common law principles are primarily concerned with providing rights of action.
Moreover, these common law rights are complementary to the statutory formal rights, resulting at times in some overlaps, as, for example, between trade mark law and the tort of passing off. A detailed analysis of the law of passing off, malicious falsehood, and breach of confidence as it applies in Cyprus is outside the scope of this chapter. It should, however, be emphasised that these rights of action under common law and equity principles play a significant role in intellectual property litigation in Cyprus. The laws dealing with the statutory protection of intellectual property in Cyprus were thoroughly modernized in preparation for EU entry in 2004. They are:
- The Patents Law, Law Number 16(I)/1998, as amended by Law Number 21(I)/1999, Law Number 153(I)/2000, Law Number 163(I)/2002, and Law Number 122(I)/2006;
- The Trade Marks Law, Chapter 268 of the Laws of Cyprus, as amended by Law Number 63/1962, Law Number 69/1971, Law Number 206/1990, Law Number 176(I)/2000, and Law Number 121(I)/2006;
- The Partnerships and Trade Names Law, Chapter 116 of the Laws of Cyprus, as amended by Law Number 77/1977, Law Number 54(I)/2011, Law Number 146(I)/2011, 147(I)/2014 and 144(I)/2015;
- The Protection of Industrial Designs and Samples Law, Law Number 4(1)/2002, as amended by Law Number 170(I)/2003 and Law Number 119(I)/2006;
- The Copyright Law, Law Number 59/1976, as amended by Law Number 63/1977, Law Number 18(I)/1993, Law Number 54(I)/ 1999, Law Number 12(I)/2001, Law Number 128(I)/2002, Law Number 128(I)/2004, Law Number 123(I)/2006, Law Number 181(I)/2007, Law Number 207(I)/2012, Law Number 196(I)/2014, Law Number 123(I)/2015 and Law Number 66(1)2017;
- The Legal Protection of Semiconductor Topographies Law, Law Number 5(I)/2002, as amended by Law Number 120(I)/2006;
- The Appellations of Origin and Geographical Indications of Agricultural Products and Foodstuffs Law, Law Number 139(I)/2006;
- The Legal Protection of New Varieties of Plants Law, Law Number 21(I)/2004; and
- The Law for the Protection of the Commercial Exploitation of Cinematographic Films, Law Number 159/1990, as amended by Law Number 43(I)/1999.
§ 73:3 International agreements
Cyprus is a party to a number of international agreements, which can be divided into two broad categories, namely:
- Agreements laying down minimum harmonized standards of protection; or
- Agreements providing for reciprocal arrangements regarding application or examination procedures for the registration of intellectual property rights.
Following is a chronological list by date of ratification of the most important international agreements to which Cyprus is a party:
- European Agreement concerning Program Exchanges by means of Television Films, Ratifying Law Number 83/1969;
- European Agreement for the Prevention of Broadcasts transmitted from Stations outside National Territories, Ratifying Law Number 36/1971;
- The Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works (Act of Paris 1971), Ratifying Law Number 86/1979;
- The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property (Lisbon Act), Ratifying Laws Number 63/1965 and (Stockholm Act), Law Number 66/1983;
- The Convention establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Ratifying Law Number 36/1984;
- The Nairobi Treaty on the Protection of the Olympic Symbol, Ratifying Law Number 9/1985;
- The Universal Copyright Convention, Ratifying Law Number 51/1990;
- The Geneva Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms against Unauthorized Duplication of their Phonograms, Ratifying Law 21(III)/1992;
- The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement), Ratifying Law Number 16(III)/ 1995;
- The European Convention relating to Questions on Copyright Law and Neighboring Rights in the Framework of Transfrontier Broadcasting by Satellite, Ratifying Law Number 29(III)/1995;
- The Geneva Trade Marks Law Treaty 1994, Ratifying Law Number 12(III)/1996;
- The European Patent Convention 1973, Ratifying Law Number 26(III)/1997;
- The Patent Co-operation Treaty 1970, Ratifying Law Number 27(III)/1997;
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World Intellectual Property Rights and Remedies / Thomson Reuters West
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